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movement that dominated 18 c. thought









(1) a narrative poem or its musical setting

(2) a traditional, usually strophic, song that tells a lengthy story









empfindsamer Stil



sentimental style


term applied to the hyper-expressivity that affected northern European, and particularly German, arts generally in the second half of the 18 c.





ballad opera




a type of popular 18 c. English musical theater using re-texted ballads (or other popular songs) and spoken dialogue rather than recitative





Johann Quantz





Concert spirituel



one of the first and foremost public concert series founded in Paris in 1725;

originally formed to give a public hearing to religious music sung in Latin, its repertory soon came to emphasize instrumental symphonies and concertos as well





reform opera



first created in the 1760’s by Christoph Willibald Gluck and Ranieri Calzabigi in an attempt to combine the best features of the Italian and French operatic traditions, to yoke Italian lyricism to the French concern for intense dramatic expression





les philosophes











a musical diversion between the acts of an opera or a play





Leopold Mozart









gallant style




French term used by music historians (rather than “Enlightenment style”) to describe 18 c. music that is graceful, light in texture , and generally symmetrical in melodic structure





obbligato recitative





recitative in which the full orchestra is necessary to the desired effect (also known as accompanied recitative)



















a technique of crunching dissonant chords used by Domenico Scarlatti















florid figuration assigned to the soprano voice in an opera; also the high female voice capable of singing such a florid part








(sung play)


a genre of German opera appearing in the 18th and 19th centuries using a folkish or comic spoken play with musical numbers inserted






antecedent phrase




the opening, incomplete-sounding phrase of a melody; often followed by a consequent phrase that brings closure to the melody





JC Bach





opera seria




serious, not comic, opera;

the term is used to designate the heroic, fully sung Italian opera that dominated the stage at the courts of Europe during the 18 c.





comic opera




a simple, direct type of musical theater that made use of comic characters, dealt with everyday social issues, and emphasized values more in step with those of the middle class





opera comique



 similar to Italian opera buffa, has characters from the everyday world, singing in a fresh, natural style, and the dialogue is generally spoken or sometimes delivered in recitative; the principals sing either simple airs or popular melodies





consequent phrase





the second phrase of a two-part melodic unit that brings a melody to a point of repose and closure








La Guerre des Bouffons



(The War of the Buffoons)


a paper war over the relative merits of Italian and French musical style; it raged, on and off, for several years in Paris during the 1750s and centered on the question of what sort of opera was appropriate for the French stage





opera buffa




the name for Italian comic opera but which, unlike most other forms of comic opera, uses rapid-fire recitative rather than spoken dialogue





Italian opera overture






CPE Bach